Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Interview by Aumji, Saadhnaa, on Spiritual Practice

My experience at Yahoo Answers was mixed. On one side I was cloned and insulted/abused by trolls and on the other hands I got some wonderful contacts, who came as a boon in my life....and worked as a catalyst in my sadhna.

Dr. M.S.Thimmappa was such a noble soul, whom I discovered on YA and became his fan for the life. In one of my questions I asked "Given a chance would you like to be a Radha or Rukmini ?". I got many answers by Thimmappaji's answer just stunned me. He said -I would like to be Radha, in spite of the pain as the pain is for the beloved Lord and such pain washes clean our impurity so that Lord is reflected for ever in me and not taken for granted as in the case of Rukmini.".

Then Thimmappaji became a regular answerer of my questions. His simple answers, not by repeating scriptures and lacking the repetitions of some guru's words, were mind-blowing and eye openers.

Thimmappaji has a doctorate in psychology and retired as Vice-Chancellor from Bangalore University. Despite some terrible set backs and tragedies in life, his outlook towards spirituality has not changed. Troubles gave him strength and problem elated his soul...and he still continues showing divine light to many.

We are very lucky that our Sadhna Group has such members, and luckier to have his views on Sadhna, despite his busy schedule. Following are the excerpts of our interview with Dr.Thimmappa (on 18th Oct,13):-

Sadhana : How would you like to be addressed ? as your real name or pseudo name you use ?

MST : My real name - Thimmappa M S, or its initials - MST.

Sadhna- How long have you been associated with Sadhna group ?

MST- More than six years

Sadhna- How did you find this Group as a new comer ?

MST - Openness to all spiritual practices irrespective of any religion, creed, interpretations, systems and methods

Sadhna- What is Sadhna (meditation) as per you ?

MST- Quietening the Mind ( body-mind-intellect complex ) so that the vast, vibrant and nurturing reality beyond the mind is 'seen'/awakened.

Sadhna- what should be kept in mind while doing Sadhna?

MST - Regularity in practice rather than looking for 'experience' or 'effects'. (Regularity ensures progress, noticing/experiencing is immaterial and may even be hindrance)

Sadhna - What according to you is " Enlightenment" ??

MST - A 'sense' of living in unity/connectedness with all that exist, living and non living,irrespective of any man made divisions; and love flowing through that connectedness always. (sarvamidam prOtam sUtrE maNigaNA iva- Gita7.7/everything is connected like beads in a thread)

Sadhna- What role do pains and suffering play in our Sadhna ?

MST - They may hasten our 'evolution' when we accept them without resistance and 'fight'.

Sadhna- Anything you would like to share with us about yourself ?

MST - As a scientist and a practicing clinical psychologist, I had believed that only science and rationality can contribute to human welfare till I came across in professional/technical journals I valued reports on the beneficial effects of 'meditation' on anxiety and other related neurosis.

It was an ethical crisis for me as a professional: either I have to ignore those findings as I do not believe in anything other than the known/'proven' notions of rationality or give in to spiritual practice for the sake of my clients. For, if meditation can cure with little cost of money and time than drugs and I yet I won't introduce it to my clients , I am not worth an honest professional and I would be committing crime against my clients. That was my crisis. So, reluctantly I went to a Meditation initiator and told him that I would send my clients to him to get them into the practice and I want to study the validity of the claim myself by conducting a study of pre and post- meditation state. The Teacher laughed - guffaw - and said "if you want to know the veracity of the claims on meditation, better you do it yourself, you cannot know through others".

The time, context and the way he said it, it shook me. I said "why not, I am game, go ahead" That began my journey into spirituality, in 1973. Since then, I may have left taking food on time owing to work pressure, deprived of my sleep, missed the company of loved ones for a while, but never, never, even a single time I missed my daily Meditation! What an addiction!

Sadhna – What should be treated as "Progress" in Sadhna ?

MST - Experience of peace within in spite of vagaries and problems in and around, and a quiet efficiency in whatever we do out in the world. In other words, a fine ability to love and work(both, not just any one of it!), with ease, effortlessly.

Sadhna – Your message to other group members ?

MST - Spiritual practices take us to a world within us that is beyond the Mind. The words and thoughts cannot apprehend that world, if we do so, we are either pulling down the vastness of the being(spiritual) to a mundane unreality or misapprehend/misinterpret that vastness. Yet, it could be felt if only we realize with confidence of knowing 'things' without words and thoughts, spirituality is an inexplicable state of being, just be it, without any itch to word it, reason it! ( nayamAtmA pravachanEna na labhyo, na meedhayA na bahunA shrutEna...Katha Upanishad 1.2.23/Soul can not be accessed either by preaching, or intellect or by many listening)

Sadhna - Thank you Dr.Thimmappa for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing your thoughts. I thank you on behalf of all members here and hope we will continue getting spiritual guidance from you.

MST - Thanks and Good Wishes to all spiritual aspirants.

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